Monday, November 7, 2011

Harry Geffert: Tribute at Cris Worley Fine Arts Oct 15 - Nov 12

Along the Hill, cast bronze 2010

A solo exhibition of cast bronze works by Harry Geffert is up at Cris Worley Fine Arts through this coming Saturday. These are exquisitely produced casts of Texas plant life.  Some of the sculptures have been enhanced with powder coating to represent the colors nature originally provided.

Spring, cast bronze and powder coat, 2011

Spring detail

The gallery's statement for this show says that
"This exhibition entitled, Tribute, will feature recent wall-mounted bronze castings of Texas’s
plant life conceived by the artist’s own imagination as abstract landscapes - forests, meadows and meanders. Always inspired by the natural world, and surrounded by many acres of untouched land, Geffert has now removed all traces of man that once inhabited his work. In his own words, “Right now I’m very conscious of nature and the Earth and everything, but I’ve been that way even from the very early things— forest and land and man… Now the people have kind of disappeared from my work, but the images of the Earth and nature are still there, coming up stronger, and the people are going back; maybe the people are less important to me now than the Earth is.”"

Forest, cast bronze, 2011

I find it interesting that McMurtrey Gallery in Houston and Cris Worley Fine Arts in Dallas are both showing cast bronze works that feature native Texas plantlife.  The difference is that Beverly Penn's work at McMurtrey is created by a woman and the feel of the sculptures is fluid and lyrical while Harry Geffert's work at Cris Worely Fine Arts is created by a man and the feel of the sculptures is upright and linear.  Each interprets Texas landscapes according to their own sensibilities.

Morning Breeze, cast bronze and powder coating, 2011 

Morning Breeze detail

It is interesting that the statement says that Geffert has "removed all traces of man" from his work.  Geffert used to run a foundry and was a master caster for other artists such as Joseph Havel, Frances Bagley, Vernon Fisher and many others including my friend James Watral.  Geffert closed his foundry twelve years ago to focus on his work alone.  I believe what he means in his statement is that he no longer casts man made objects such as Havel's sculptures of sheets of cloth or Watral's thrown clay 'Elements'.  Rather, Geffert is casting former living objects that were created by nature and arranged in sculpture form to represent landscapes created by nature.

Scape, cast bronze and powder coat, 2011

Geffert's sculptures are masculine compared to Penn's feminine curvy forms.  But Geffert's still maintain a quiet peaceful look at nature that reminds me of sitting at my parent's house enjoying a hot cup of tea while gazing out the window at the surrounding forest.

Desert Flower, cast bronze and powder coat, 2011

Desert Flower detail

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